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Record low exchange rates against sterling, the euro and the Japanese yen have combined with the soaring buyer power in Asia to create a surge of overseas activity at both auctions and retail outlets. ATG’s sister paper in the US, Antique Week, reports that more relaxed export rules are helping too.

According to the manager of a massive antiques mall in Ohio, about 55-60 per cent of their sales are going overseas. And he believes that about three quarters of that overseas business is coming from dealers looking to resell at home.

“We’re doing online sales all over… Japan, China, Italy, England Australia… we’re shipping stuff everywhere,” he said.

San Francisco auctioneer Greg Martin agrees that now is the time for US collectors to sell.

And he believes that the broader collecting base today is offering vendors an even bigger bonanza than the last big dollar slump in the late 1970s.